by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - The vandalized remains of at least three campaign signs were found near the intersection of Ehlen and Donald roads last week. An estimated 25 additional signs have been stolen.Aurora Rural Fire Protection District officials last week decried the theft or vandalism of some 30 campaign signs supporting Measure 24-367, an approximately $5.9 million bond proposal that would benefit the fire district.

Greg Leo, an elected member of the fire district board and treasurer of the campaign committee in favor of the measure, said approximately 25 signs — about half the total number set up by committee volunteers — have disappeared in recent weeks, but a new wrinkle in the criminal activity appeared sometime between April 24 and 25, when at least three signs were found to have been cut into pieces and strewn across the ground.

Leo said he is discouraged by the incident because it is distracting from the real conversation of the bond measure and the state of the district.

“People aren’t playing fair here,” he said. “If people disagree, they should vote the way they want to, but don’t destroy somebody’s signs if you disagree with them. That’s not fair speech.”

He said the matter has been reported to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, and that the activity appears to be along the less-busy roads in and around the community of Donald.

“The signs are not disappearing in the Aurora area,” he said.

He said the campaign has had to order more signs to replace the ones being damaged and stolen, at a cost of about $5.50 each.

This is not the first time the district has reported damage to a sign related to the bond proposal. In January, a wooden sign marking the future home of the district’s central station (which would be constructed with funds from Measure 24-367, if it’s passed), was repeatedly vandalized. Leo said the vandals used a saw of some kind to cut the sign, and it eventually had to be replaced.

Leo said that residents are being asked to report any suspicious activity around campaign signs to local police. A reward has also been offered for information about the individual or individuals responsible. Call 503-776-9245 for more information.

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